Patty and James Schniederjan Bring a Tropical,
Healthy Bowl of Goodness to Amarillo
Patty and James Schniederjan brought tropical goodness to Amarillo after discovering the açaí bowl in California. In 2012, Patty and James were moving their daughter, Jessica, from Charlotte, North Carolina to NewPort Beach, California. Jessica stumbled across the açaí bowl which is like a “smoothie in a bowl” topped with fruit and other goodies. Patty gave it a try and became hooked pretty quick. They would visit Jessica several times a year and would eat açaí bowls most of time they were there. Jessica urged Patty to bring the healthy treat to Amarillo. Patty wanted to be able to offer something truly unique so in 2014, she started playing with the different flavors and recipes of traditional açaí bowls and eventually came up with her own customized recipes based on the freshest seasonal fruits.
Patty had never started a full fledged business from scratch and she wasn’t sure how a healthy option would do in her biscuits and gravy hometown. Patty wanted to dip her toes in her new business idea so she purchased a new blender and an enclosed tent and attended her first event, The Fair On The Square, in Canyon on the 4th of July in 2016. The following Saturday she headed to the Amarillo Community market and worked it every Saturday. She would rotate different bowls each weekend to give a sample of what all she could offer to see how the folks of Amarillo and the surrounding area would react to this new tropical treat. Soon enough, word was spreading throughout the city and her bowls became a staple at the Community Market. And every Saturday, she completely sold out. They began to draw such a following, they created a Facebook page and had over 1600 followers before they even opened a physical location. By October when the market was over, Patty found their current location at 34th and Coulter that had been a women’s clothing store called The Glo that happened to have a kitchen where they had been serving green smoothies in the back. They officially opened their doors on January 23, 2017.
The açaí (pronounced Ah-Sah-Ee) bowl is inspired by Brazilian tradition and by the laid back lifestyle and healthy breakfast & lunch alternatives in Southern California. It’s base is made with the mega superfood known as the açaí berry which is packed full of nutrients and antioxidants. The Açaí bowl consists of the açaí berry blended with all-natural fruit to a thick creamy consistency, topped with organic granola, honey, and other super-foods custom-made to your liking. The Açaí Bar sources all fresh ingredients so you can be sure that you are eating clean. The bowls are topped with a variety of the freshest fruit, honey, granola, and organic coconut shreds. The most popular bowl is the Monkey Bowl which is topped with organic granola, pineapples, bananas, strawberries, dairy free mini chocolate chips, organic coconut shreds, and honey. The Açaí Bar does not use any dairy or ice in any of their bowls or smoothies. The Acai Bar is Vegan, gluten free and vegetarian friendly, so if you have any special dietary restrictions, they’ve got you covered!
A year and a half in, they added avocado toast to their menu which consists of sourdough toast covered in avocado and topped with various items such as tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach, hummus and almonds. Or you can opt for a sweeter version with cream cheese and strawberries or peanut butter and bananas. Other healthy treats available include their Chia Pudding Parfait made with homemade chia pudding, a Yogurt Parfait, the Açaí Chai Cup and their organic, gluten free Oatmeal with brown sugar and maple.
In September 2018, Patty stumbled upon a healthy “ice cream” while surfing the internet, so after researching it, she wanted to know more about it, so she reached out to the Australian based company and in April 2019, her and James flew to Austin, Tx for a day trip to try it out. They loved it so much and wanted this amazing plant based soft serve at their store. So Danny Bogatie, founder and owner of Cocowhip, flew to Amarillo from Australia and in August 2019 The Acai Bar introduced Cocowhip. Cocowhip is a plant based soft serve, so for all those who can’t have dairy but LOVE ice cream, Cocowhip is a 100% all natural, plant based, and infused with probiotics, prebiotic’s and contains no dairy, soy, gluten or refined sugar.
The Schniederjans weren’t sure how a healthy alternative business would do in our steak loving city but the response and support for what they are doing and the fresh, healthy goodness they provide has been amazing. Being born and raised in Amarillo, they know first-hand about supporting local businesses and strive to give back to their community by providing a healthy and nutritious spot for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Açaí Bar is located at 7306 SW 34th Ave in the Summit shopping center, a few doors down from Natural Grocers. They are open Monday-Saturday from 7 am to 7 pm. You can dine in or call ahead (806-367-9724) or order directly from their website www.theacaibaramarillo.com or their App, to have your order ready for quick pick up.